1 French Land Register data, which excludes lakes, ponds, glaciers
> 1 km2 (0.386 sq mi or 247 acres) and river
2 Population without double counting: residents of multiple communes
(e.g., students and military personnel) only counted once.
Grenoble (/ɡrəˈnoʊbəl/; French
pronunciation: [ɡʁənɔbl]; Arpitan: Grenoblo) is a city in
southeastern France, at the foot of the
French Alps where the river
Drac joins the Isère. Located in the
Grenoble is the capital of the department of Isère and is an
important European scientific centre. The city advertises itself
as the "Capital of the Alps", due to its size and its proximity to the
Grenoble's history goes back over 2,000 years, to a time when it was a
small Gallic village. It gained somewhat in stature by becoming the
capital of the Dauphiné in the 11th century, but
for most of its history a modest parliamentary and garrison city on
the borders of the kingdom of France.
Industrial development increased the prominence of
several periods of economic expansion over the last three centuries.
This started with a booming glove industry in the 18th and 19th
centuries, continued with the development of a strong hydropower
industry in the late 19th to early 20th centuries, and ended with a
post-World War II economic boom symbolized by the holding of the
X Olympic Winter Games in 1968. The city has grown to be one of
Europe's most important research, technology, and innovation centers,
with each fifth inhabitant working directly in these domains.
The population of the city (commune) of
Grenoble was 160,215 at the
2013 census, while the population of the
Grenoble metropolitan area
(French: aire urbaine de
Grenoble or "agglomération grenobloise") was
664,832. The residents of the city are called "Grenoblois".
The many suburb communes that make up the rest of the metropolitan
area include three with populations exceeding 20,000,
Saint-Martin-d'Hères, Échirolles, and Fontaine.
1.2 Middle Ages
Louis XIV to the French Revolution
1.5 19th century
1.6 20th century
4 Urbanism and architecture
5 Main sights
5.1 La Bastille
5.2 Palace of the
Parliament of Dauphiné
5.3 Museum of Grenoble
5.4 Archaeological museums
6 Education and science
6.1 Secondary level
6.2 Higher education
6.2.1 Science and engineering
6.3 Knowledge and innovation community
11 People from Grenoble
12 International relations
12.1 Twin towns and sister cities
14 See also
17 External links
See also: Timeline of Grenoble
For the ecclesiastical history, see Bishopric of Grenoble.
It has been suggested that this section be split out into another
article titled History of Grenoble. (Discuss) (November 2015)
Remnants of the Roman Walls
The first references to what is now
Grenoble date back to 43 BC.
Cularo was at that time a small Gallic village of the Allobroges
tribe, near a bridge across the Isère. Three centuries later and with
insecurity rising in the late Roman empire, a strong wall was built
around the small town in 286 AD.
Cularo and, touched by the people's
welcome, made the village a Roman city. In honour of this, Cularo
was renamed Gratianopolis ("city of Gratian") in 381 (leading to
Graignovol during the Middle Age and then Grenoble).
Christianity spread to the region during the 4th century, and the
Grenoble was founded in 377 AD. From that time on, the
bishops exercised significant political power over the city. Until the
French Revolution, they styled themselves the "bishops and princes of
After the collapse of the Roman Empire, the city was part of the first
Burgundian kingdom in the 5th century and the second Burgundian
Kingdom of Arles
Kingdom of Arles until 1032, when it was integrated into the Holy
Roman Empire. Arletian rule was interrupted between 942 and 970 due to
Arab rule based in Fraxinet.
Grenoble grew significantly in the 11th century when the Counts of
Albon chose the city as the capital of their territories. At the time,
their possessions were a patchwork of several territories sprawled
across the region. The central position of
Grenoble allowed the
Counts to strengthen their authority. When they later took the title
Grenoble became the capital of the State of Dauphiné.
Despite their status, the Counts had to share authority over the city
with the Bishop of Grenoble. One of the most famous of those was Saint
Hugh. Under his rule, the city's bridge was rebuilt, and a regular and
leper hospital were built.
Coat of arms of the
Dauphiné after becoming a province of France
The inhabitants of
Grenoble took advantage of the conflicts between
the Counts and the bishops and obtained the recognition of a Charter
of Customs that guaranteed their rights. That charter was
confirmed by Kings
Louis XI in 1447 and Francis I in 1541.
In 1336 the last Dauphin Humbert II founded a court of justice,
the Conseil delphinal (fr), which settled at
Grenoble in 1340. He
also established the
University of Grenoble
University of Grenoble in 1339. Without an heir,
Humbert sold his state to
France in 1349, on the condition that the
heir to the French crown used the title of Dauphin. The first one, the
future Charles V, spent nine months in Grenoble. The city
remained the capital of the Dauphiné, henceforth a province of
France, and the Estates of
Dauphiné were created.
The only Dauphin who really governed his province was Louis XI,
whose "reign" lasted from 1447 to 1456. It was only under his rule
Dauphiné properly joined the Kingdom of France. The Old Conseil
Delphinal became a
Parlement (the third in
France after the
Paris and Toulouse), strengthening the status of
Grenoble as a Provincial capital. He also ordered the construction of
the Palais du
Parlement (finished under Francis I) and ensured
that the Bishop pledged allegiance, thus forging the political union
of the city.
At that time,
Grenoble was a crossroads between Vienne, Geneva, Italy,
and Savoy. It was the industrial centre of the
Dauphiné and the
biggest city of the province, but nonetheless a rather small one.
François de Bonne, duc de Lesdiguières
Owing to Grenoble's geographical situation, French troops were
garrisoned in the city and its region during the Italian Wars.
Charles VIII, Louis XII, and Francis I went several
times to Grenoble. Its people consequently had to suffer from the
exactions of the soldiers.
The nobility of the region took part in various battles (Marignano,
Pavia) and in doing so gained significant prestige. The best-known
of its members was Bayard, "the knight without fear and beyond
Grenoble suffered as a result of the French Wars of Religion. The
Dauphiné was indeed an important settlement for Protestants and
therefore experienced several conflicts. The baron des Adrets, the
leader of the Huguenots, pillaged the Cathedral of
destroyed the tombs of the former Dauphins.
In August 1575, Lesdiguières became the new leader of the Protestants
and, thanks to the accession of Henry IV to the throne of France,
allied himself with the governor and the lieutenant general of the
Dauphiné. But this alliance did not bring an end to the conflicts.
Indeed, a Catholic movement, the Ligue, which took
December 1590, refused to make peace. After months of assaults,
Lesdiguières defeated the Ligue and took back Grenoble. He became the
leader of the entire province.
Lesdiguières became the lieutenant-general of the
administered the Province from 1591 to 1626. He began the construction
of the Bastille in order to protect the city and ordered the
construction of new walls, increasing the city's size. He also
constructed the Hôtel Lesdiguières, built new fountains, and dug
In 1689, the bishop
Étienne Le Camus launched the construction of
Louis XIV to the French Revolution
Day of the Tiles, 1890 painting by Alexandre Debelle,
(Musée de la Révolution française).
The revocation of the
Edict of Nantes
Edict of Nantes by
Louis XIV caused the
departure of 2,000 Protestants from Grenoble, weakening the city's
economy. However, it also weakened the glove industry of Grasse,
leaving the glove factories of
Grenoble without any competition.
This allowed a stronger economic development for the city during the
18th century. For example, at the beginning of that century, only 12
glovers made 15,000 dozen gloves each year; however, by 1787, 64
glovers made 160,000 dozen gloves each year.
The city gained some notoriety on 7 June 1788 when the townspeople
assaulted troops of
Louis XVI in the "Day of the Tiles". The people
attacked the royal troops to prevent an expulsion of the notables of
the city, which would have seriously endangered the economic
prosperity of Grenoble. Following these events, the Assembly of
Vizille took place. Its members organized the meeting of the old
Estates General, thus beginning the French Revolution. During the
Grenoble was represented in
Paris by two illustrious
Jean Joseph Mounier and Antoine Barnave.
In 1790, the
Dauphiné was divided into three departments, and
Grenoble became the chef-lieu of the
Isère department. The city was
renamed Grelibre to avoid association with out of fashion nobility,
and only took back its previous name only under Napoleon. Only two
abbeys were executed at
Grenoble during the Reign of Terror. Pope
Pius VI, prisoner of France, spent three days at
Grenoble in 1799
before going to Valence where he died.
Ramparts close to the Porte Saint Laurent
The establishment of the Empire was overwhelmingly approved (in
Isère, the results showed 82,084 yes and only 12 no). Grenoble
welcomed for the second time a prisoner
Pope in 1809. Pius VII
spent 10 days in the city en route to his exile in Fontainebleau.
Grenoble was under threat from the Austrian army, which
Switzerland and Savoy. The well-defended city contained the
Austrian attacks, and the French army defeated the Austrians, forcing
them to withdraw at Geneva. However, the later invasion of
1814 resulted in the capitulation of the troops and the occupation of
During his return from the island of
Elba in 1815,
Napoleon took a
road that led him near
Grenoble at Laffrey. There he met the royalist
fifth Infantry Regiment of Louis XVIII.
Napoleon stepped towards
the soldiers and said these famous words: "If there is among you a
soldier who wants to kill his Emperor, here I am." The soldiers all
joined his cause. After that,
Napoleon was acclaimed at
Jean Gabriel Marchand
Jean Gabriel Marchand could not prevent
Napoleon from entering
the city through the Bonne gate. He said later: "From
Grenoble, I still was an adventurer; in that last city, I came back a
sovereign". But after the defeat of Waterloo, the region suffered
from a new invasion of Austrian and Sardinian troops.
Fountain of the Three Orders (1897)
The 19th century saw significant industrial development of Grenoble.
The glove factories reached their Golden Age, and their products were
exported to the United States, the United Kingdom, and Russia.
General Haxo transformed the Bastille fortress, which took on its
present aspect between 1824 and 1848. The Second Empire saw the
construction of the French railway network, and the first trains
Grenoble in 1858. Shortly thereafter
widespread destruction by extensive flooding in 1859,.
In 1869 engineer Aristide Bergès played a major role in
industrializing hydroelectricity production. With the development of
his paper mills, he accelerated the economic development of the
Grésivaudan valley and Grenoble.
On 4 August 1897, a stone and bronze fountain was inaugurated in
Grenoble to commemorate the pre-revolutionary events of June 1788.
Built by the sculptor Henri Ding, the Fountain of the Three Orders,
which represents three characters, is located on the Place Notre-Dame.
Grenoble interpret these characters as follows: "Is it
raining?" inquires the third estate; "Please heaven it had rained",
lament the clergy; and "It will rain", proclaims the nobility.
World War I accelerated Grenoble's economic development. In
order to sustain the war effort, new hydroelectric industries
developed along the various rivers of the region, and several existing
companies moved into the armaments industry (for example in
Livet-et-Gavet). Electro-chemical factories were also established in
the area surrounding Grenoble, initially to produce chemical weapons.
This development resulted in significant immigration to Grenoble,
particularly from Italian workers who settled in the Saint-Laurent
Gate of the exposition in 1925
The economic development of the city was highlighted by the
organization of the International Exhibition of
Hydropower and Tourism
in 1925, which was visited by more than 1 million people. The
organization of this exhibition forced the military to remove the old
city walls and allowed expansion of the city to the south. This
exhibition also highlighted the city's hydropower industry and the
region's tourist attractions.
The site of the exhibition became an urban park in 1926, named Parc
Paul Mistral after the death of the mayor in 1932. The only building
of this exhibition remaining in the park is the crumbling Tour Perret,
which has been closed to the public since 1960 due to its very poor
state of maintenance.
During World War II, at the Battle of the Alps, the Nazi invasion was
Voreppe by the forces of General Cartier in
June 1940. The French forces resisted until the armistice. Grenoble
was then part of the French State, before an Italian occupation from
1942 to 1943. The relative mercy of the Italian occupiers towards the
Jewish populations resulted in a significant number moving to the
region from the German-occupied parts of France.
Grenoble was extremely active in the Résistance against the
occupation. Its action was symbolized by figures such as Eugène
Chavant, Léon Martin, and Marie Reynoard. The University of
Grenoble supported the clandestine operations and provided false
documentation for young people to prevent them from being assigned to
In September 1943, German troops occupied Grenoble, escalating the
conflict with the clandestine movements. On 11 November 1943 (the
anniversary of the armistice of 1918) massive strikes and
demonstrations took place in front of the local collaboration offices.
In response, the occupiers arrested 400 demonstrators in the streets.
On 13 November, the resistance blew up the artillery at the Polygon,
which was a psychological shock for an enemy who then intensified the
repression. On 25 November, the occupiers killed 11 members of the
Résistance organizations of Grenoble. This violent crackdown was
nicknamed "Grenoble's Saint-Bartholomew". From these events,
Grenoble was styled by the
Free French Forces
Free French Forces the title of Capital of
the Maquis on the antennas of the BBC.
This event only intensified the activities of Grenoble's resistance
movements. The Germans could not prevent the destruction of their new
arsenal on 2 December at the Bonne Barracks. After the Normandy
landing, resistance operations reached their peak, with numerous
attacks considerably hampering the activity of German troops. With the
landing in Provence, German troops evacuated the city on 22 August
1944. On 5 November 1944, General
Charles de Gaulle
Charles de Gaulle came to Grenoble
and bestowed on the city the Compagnon de la Libération in order to
recognise "a heroic city at the peak of the French resistance and
combat for the liberation".
In 1955, future physics Nobel prize laureate
Louis Néel created the
Grenoble Center for Nuclear Studies (CENG), resulting in the birth of
Grenoble model, a combination of research and industry. The first
stone was laid in December 1956.
Grenoble hosted the Xth Olympic Winter Games. This event
helped modernize the city with the development of infrastructure such
as an airport, motorways, a new town hall, and a new train
station. It also helped the development of ski
resorts like Chamrousse, Les Deux Alpes, and Villard-de-Lans.[citation
Grenoble with the
Grenoble is surrounded by mountains. To the north lies the Chartreuse,
to the south and west the Vercors, and to the east the Belledonne
Grenoble is regarded as the capital of the French Alps.
Except for a few dozen houses on the slopes of the Bastille hill,
Grenoble is exclusively built on the alluvial plain of the rivers
Isère and Drac at an altitude of 214 metres (702 ft). As a
result, the city itself is extremely flat. Mountain sports are an
important tourist attraction in summer and winter. Twenty large and
small ski resorts surround the city, the nearest being Le
Sappey-en-Chartreuse, which is about 15 minutes' drive away.
Grenoble and the surrounding areas were sites of
heavy industry and mining. Abandoned mills and factories can be
found in small towns and villages, and a few have been converted to
tourist attractions, such as the coal mine at La Mure.
Grenoble itself has an oceanic climate (Köppen climate classification
Cfb) with no dry season.
Climate data for Grenoble-St Geoirs (1981–2010 averages)
Record high °C (°F)
Average high °C (°F)
Average low °C (°F)
Record low °C (°F)
Average precipitation mm (inches)
Average precipitation days
Average snowy days
Average relative humidity (%)
Mean monthly sunshine hours
Source #1: Météo France
Source #2: Infoclimat.fr (humidity, snowy days 1961–1990)
Urbanism and architecture
The Bouchayer-Viallet site is a powerful symbol of Grenoble's
industrial past. This former factory is now converted into a
dual-purpose area more closely linked to the Berriat neighbourhood.
Innovative business activities as Apple Inc. co-exist with
housing, sporting facilities, contemporary music venue and arts
centres as Le Magasin. At the entrance to the Bouchayer-Viallet site,
Square des Fusillés has been redeveloped and extended taking over an
old car park, to facilitate access from the tramway stop and Cours
Redevelopment of the former De Bonne barracks was an important step in
the drive to launch sustainable housing in France. In 2009, the site
of De Bonne was distinguished as the best eco-neighborhood in
France. A shopping mall contains 53 shops arranged around an inner
concourse, with one side opening onto the park and the other
connecting to the town.
The Bastille from downtown, with the Memorial at the back, on the top
of the hill
The Bastille, an ancient series of fortifications on the mountainside,
Grenoble on the northern side and is visible from many
points in the city. The Bastille is one of Grenoble's most visited
tourist attractions and provides a good vantage point over both the
town below and the surrounding mountains.
"Les Bulles": the cable cars
The Bastille fort was begun in the Middle Ages, and later centuries
saw extensive additions, including a semi-underground defense network.
The Bastille has been credited as the most extensive example of early
18th-century fortifications in all of France. It then held an
important strategic point on the French Alpine frontier with the
Kingdom of Savoy.
The first cable transport system, installed on the Bastille in 1875,
was built by the Porte de
France Cement Company for freight. This
cable transport system connected a quarry on Mount Jalla, just over
the Bastille, and Grenoble. It was abandoned in the early 20th
Since 1934, the Bastille has been the destination of the
"Grenoble-Bastille cable car". This system of mostly transparent
egg-shaped cable cars known to locals as "Les Bulles" (the bubbles)
provides the occupants with an excellent view over the Isère. At the
top are two restaurants and installed in the casemates of the fort
itself since June 2006, the Bastille Art Centre allows visitors to see
contemporary art exhibitions. There is also a small military museum on
mountain troops (Musée des troupes de montagne) and, since 2000, a
memorial to the mountain troops (Mémorial national des troupes de
montagne) further along the road, on top of the hill.
Palace of the
Parliament of Dauphiné
Palace of the
Parliament of Dauphiné.
This renaissance palace was constructed at the Place Saint André
around 1500 and extended in 1539. It was the location of the Parlement
Dauphiné until the French Revolution. It then became the Grenoble
courthouse, until the courts were moved to a modern building in 2002.
The left wing of the palace was extended in 1897. The front of the
former seat of the nearby
Parlement combines elements from a
gothic chapel and a Renaissance façade.
The building now belongs to the
Isère Council (Conseil Général de
l'Isère). An ongoing renovation project will give this building a new
life whilst preserving its patrimonial character and adding a modern
Museum of Grenoble
The city's most prized museum, the
Museum of Grenoble
Museum of Grenoble (Musée de
Grenoble), welcomes 200,000 visitors a year. It is primarily renowned
for its extensive paintings collection, which covers all artistic
evolutions. In the early 20th century the
Museum of Grenoble
Museum of Grenoble became
the first French museum to open its collections to modern art, and its
collection of modern and contemporary art has grown to become one of
the largest in Europe. The painting holdings include works by painters
such as Veronese, Rubens, Zurbarán, Ingres, Delacroix, Renoir,
Gauguin, Signac, Monet, Matisse, Picasso, Kandinsky, Joan Miró, Paul
Giorgio de Chirico
Giorgio de Chirico and Andy Warhol. The museum also presents a
few Egyptian antiquities as well as Greek and Roman artifacts. The
Sculpture collection features works by Auguste Rodin, Matisse, Alberto
Giacometti and Alexander Calder. In April 2010, the prophetess of
Antinoe, a 6th-century mummy discovered in 1907 in the Coptic
necropolis of Antinoe in Middle Egypt, returned to the Museum of
Grenoble, after more than fifty years of absence and an extensive
Archaeological museum with the vestiges protected by a new cover of
glass and metal (Place Saint-Laurent)
Situated on the right bank of the Isère, on Place Saint-Laurent, the
Grenoble Archaeological Museum
Grenoble Archaeological Museum presents the archaeological excavations
done on its location. The vestiges date back all the way to the 3rd
century AD and provide a timeline of the history of Christianity in
the region. The museum is situated below a 12th-century Benedictine
church, under which Jacques Joseph Champollion-Figeac, brother of
famed egyptologist Jean-François Champollion, discovered a Roman
church in 1803. It was one of the first classified monuments in France
thanks to the intervention of Prosper Mérimée, historic monument
inspector. Systematic excavations were conducted from 1978 to
2011, as part of a regional research program on the evolution of
churches during the Middle Ages. After eight years of work, the museum
reopened 6 May 2011.
Musée de l'Ancien Évêché
Musée de l'Ancien Évêché is the second archaeological museum
of the city, and located near the
Grenoble Cathedral. Installed in
1998, it houses the first baptistery of the city
Grenoble townhall hosts a bust of Stendhal by sculptor Pierre
Education and science
The large community of both foreign students and foreign researchers
prompted the creation of an international school. The Cité Scolaire
Internationale Europole (CSI Europole) was formerly housed within the
Lycée Stendhal across from the Maison du Tourisme, but later moved to
its own building in the Europole (fr) district. In the centre of
the city, two schools have provided education to the isérois for more
than three centuries. The oldest one, the Lycée Stendhal, was founded
in 1651 as a Jesuit College. An astronomical and astrological
sundial created in the main building of the college in 1673 can still
be visited today. The second-oldest higher education establishment of
Grenoble is the Lycée Champollion, completed in 1887 to offer
excellent education to both high school students and students of
Campus of the Université
The city is an important university centre with over 54,000 students
in 2013, of whom 16% arrive from abroad.
In a 1339 pontificial bull,
Benedict XII commissioned the
establishment of the University of Grenoble.
From 1965, the university relocated from downtown to a suburban main
campus outside of the city in Saint Martin d'Hères (with some parts
in Gières). However, smaller campuses remain both downtown and in the
northwestern part of the city known as the Polygone Scientifique
From 1970 to 2015, the university was divided into four separate
institutions sharing the campus grounds, some buildings and
laboratories, and even part of their administration:
Grenoble I –
Joseph Fourier University
Joseph Fourier University (sciences, health,
Grenoble II – Pierre Mendès-
France University (social
which includes the Institute of political studies
Grenoble III –
Stendhal University (humanities)
Grenoble Institute of Technology
Grenoble Institute of Technology (INPG or Grenoble-INP) is a
federation of engineering colleges.
On January 1st 2016, the first three of those merged back to form the
Campuses of the much smaller École nationale de l'aviation civile
(French civil aviation university), École d'Architecture de Grenoble
( School of Architecture of Grenoble) and
Grenoble École de
Management (management and business administration) are also located
Science and engineering
Site of European Synchrotron Radiation Facility, Institut
European Molecular Biology Laboratory
European Molecular Biology Laboratory at the Western
end of the Polygone Scientifique
Grenoble is a major scientific centre, especially in the fields of
physics, computer science, and applied mathematics: Universite Joseph
Fourier (UJF) is one of the leading French scientific universities
Grenoble Institute of Technology
Grenoble Institute of Technology trains more than 5,000
engineers every year in key technology disciplines. Grenoble's high
tech expertise is organized mainly around three domains: information
technology, biotechnologies and new technologies of energy.
Many fundamental and applied scientific research laboratories are
conjointly managed by Joseph Fourier University,
Grenoble Institute of
Technology, and the French National Centre for Scientific Research
(CNRS). Numerous other scientific laboratories are managed
independently or in collaboration with the CNRS and the French
National Institute for Research in Computer Science and Control
Other research centres in or near
Grenoble include the European
Synchrotron Radiation Facility (ESRF), the Institut Laue-Langevin
European Molecular Biology Laboratory
European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL), the Institut
de radioastronomie millimétrique, one of the main research facilities
of the Commissariat à l'Énergie Atomique (Nuclear Energy Commission,
LNCMI and the European branch of
Xerox Research (whose most
notable center was PARC). Leti and the recent development of Minatec,
a centre for innovation in micro- and nano-technology, only increases
Grenoble's position as a European scientific centre.
Biotechnologies are also well represented in the
Grenoble region with
the molecular biology research center BioMérieux, the Clinatec
center, the regional center NanoBio and many ramifications of the
global competitiveness cluster Lyonbiopôle.
Grenoble has large laboratories related to space and to the
understanding and observation of the universe as the Institut de
radioastronomie millimétrique, the Institut de planétologie et
d'astrophysique de Grenoble, the Laboratoire de physique
subatomique et de cosmologie de Grenoble, the
Institut Néel but also
to a lesser extent the Institut des sciences de la Terre (part of the
Observatoire des Sciences de l'Univers de Grenoble).
In order to foster this technological cluster university institutions
and research organizations united to create the GIANT (Grenoble
Innovation for Advanced New Technologies) Campus with the aim at
becoming one of the world's top campuses in research, higher
education, and high tech.
The city benefits from the highest concentration of strategic jobs in
France after Paris, with 14% of the employments, 35,186 jobs, 45% of
which specialized in design and research.
Grenoble is also the
largest research center in
Paris with 22,800 jobs (11,800
in public research, 7,500 in private research and 3,500 PhD
Grenoble is also renowned for the excellence of its academic research
in humanities and political sciences. Its universities, alongside
public scientific institutions, host some of the largest research
France (in fields such as political science, urban planning
or the sociology of organizations).
Knowledge and innovation community
Grenoble is one of the co-location centres of the European Institute
of Innovation and Technology's Knowledge and Innovation Communities
for sustainable energy.
Grenoble is one of the leading European cities in term of high-tech
industries, especially biotechnology and nanotechnology.
World-renowned enterprises have settled in
Grenoble and in the
surrounding area such as Schneider Electric, Hewlett Packard,
Xerox and STMicroelectronics. Since 2011, the presence of
Grenoblix, first green data center, allows connected members to
exchange traffic in order to avoid passing by faraway infrastructures.
Grenoble can be considered as an international city thanks
to the World Trade Center of Grenoble.
The town was once famous for glove manufacturing, for which Xavier
Jouvin (fr) introduced an innovative technique in the 19th
century. A few small companies keep producing gloves for a very
high end market.
Head office of Glénat
In 2011, the largest employers in the
Grenoble metropolitan area
Number of employees
Grenoble and Crolles
Semiconductor manufacturing, R&D
Electrical equipment, R&D
Grenoble and Echirolles
Construction of heavy equipment
Hewlett Packard France, Eybens
Becton Dickinson, Pont-de-Claix
R&D and production of advanced systems for drugs administration
Information technology consulting and IT service management
Supplier of building materials
Semiconductor manufacturer specialized in the production of SOI wafers
The presence of companies such as HP or
Caterpillar in the area has
drawn many American and British workers to Grenoble, especially in the
surrounding mountain villages. The region has the second largest
English-speaking community in France, after Paris. That community
has an English-speaking Church and supports the International
School. A lot of these Americans, British, Australians etc. go to
Grenoble with the intention of returning home after some time but the
mountains and general life style keep them there. Some choose to put
their children in the international school "cité internationale" and
the "American School of Grenoble" is the alternative for those who
prefer to have the core curriculum in English. With numerous
associations like Open House, this large English speaking population
organizes family events making life in
Grenoble harder to turn away
Publisher Glénat has its head office in Grenoble.
Inovallée is a
science park with about 12,000 jobs located at
Montbonnot-Saint-Martin near Grenoble.
Isère is the local TV channel with
France 3 Alpes. The
local newspaper is Le
Grenoble hosted the 1968 Winter Olympics. The city is surrounded by
ski resorts nestled in the surrounding mountains. Stade Lesdiguières
is located in
Grenoble and has been the venue for international rugby
league and rugby union games.
Grenoble is the home of first rugby union, FC Grenoble, and ice
hockey teams, Brûleurs de loups, and of a third tier football team,
Grenoble Foot 38, .
Six-Days of Grenoble, a six-day track cycling race since 1971.
The via ferrata
Grenoble is a climbing route located on the hill of
the Bastille in Grenoble.
The abundance of natural sites around
Grenoble as well as the
particular influence of mountaineering practices and history make many
Grenoble inhabitants very fond of sports and outdoor activities
(e.g., mountain trails hiking, mountain bike, backcountry skiing,
rock climbing, and paragliding). The Tour de
France cycling race
regularly passes through the city.
The railway station and a tram (lightrail).
A comprehensive bus and tram service operates 26 bus routes and five
tram lines and serves much of greater Grenoble, while a new cable car
system known as the Métrocâble is scheduled to be completed in 2021.
Being essentially flat,
Grenoble is also a bicycle-friendly city.
Gare de Grenoble
Gare de Grenoble is served by the
TGV rail network, with frequent
high-speed services (3 hours) to and from Paris-Gare de Lyon, usually
with a stop at
Lyon Saint-Exupéry Airport. While
Grenoble is not
directly on any high-speed line, TGVs can run at reduced speeds on the
classic network and enable such connections. Local rail services
Grenoble with Lyon, and less frequently to Geneva, to Valence,
and to destinations to the South. Valence and
Lyon to the West
provides connections with
TGV services along the Rhône Valley. Rail
and road connections to the South are less developed.
Grenoble can be accessed by air from Grenoble-
Isère Airport, Lyon
Saint-Exupéry Airport and
Geneva International Airport, with the
airport bus connections being most frequent to
I-Road in Grenoble
Grenoble to the other major cities in the area including
the A48 autoroute to the northwest toward Lyon, the A49 to the
southwest toward the Rhone valley via Valence, the A41 to the
northeast toward Chambéry, the Alps, and
Italy and Switzerland.
A partial ring road around the south of the city, the Rocade Sud,
connects the motorway arriving from the northwest (A48) with that
arriving from the northeast (A41). A project to complete the ring
road, with a tunnel under the Bastille as part of the likely routes,
was rejected after its environmental impact studies.
Since 1 October 2014, the city of
Grenoble has been testing the rental
of seventy I-Road electric vehicles. In 2016, the speed limit was
lowered to 30 km/h (18.6 mph) in 80% of the streets of
Grenoble and forty-two neighboring municipalities, to both improve
safety and reduce pollution levels,. The limit however remains
50 km/h on the main arteries.
Grenoble hosts several festivals: the Détours de Babel in March,
the Open Air Short Film Festival in early July, and the Cabaret
Frappé music festival at the end of July.
The Summum is the biggest concert hall in Grenoble, and the most
famous artists produce there. Another big hall, Le grand angle, is
located nearby in Voiron. Smaller halls in the city include the Salle
Olivier Messiaen in the Minim Monastery.
The main cultural center of the city is called MC2 (for Maison de la
culture, version 2), which hosts music, theater, and dance
Conservatory of Grenoble
Conservatory of Grenoble is founded in 1935.
There are several theaters in Grenoble, the main one being Grenoble
Municipal Theatre (Théatre de Grenoble). Others are the Théâtre de
Création, the Théâtre Prémol, and the Théâtre 145.
hosts Upstage Productions, which performs once a year through an
exclusively English speaking troupe.
There are two main art centres in Grenoble: the Centre national d'Art
contemporain (also called Le Magasin) and the Centre d'art Bastille.
Grenoble is known for its walnuts, Noix de Grenoble (fr) which
enjoy an appellation of controlled origin.
The town also hosts a well-known comics publisher, Glénat.
People from Grenoble
Further information: List of people from Grenoble
See also: List of twin towns and sister cities in France
After World War I, one street in the centre of Smederevska Palanka
(Serbia) was named French street (Francuska ulica) and one street in
Grenoble was named Palanka street(Rue de Palanka). There is also a
Belgrade Street (Rue de Belgrade) near the Isère.
Twin towns and sister cities
Grenoble is twinned with:
Catania, Italy, since 1961
Innsbruck, Austria, since 1963
Essen, Germany, since 1976
Halle, Germany, since 1976
Chişinău, Moldova, since 1977
Oxford, United Kingdom, since 1977
Rehovot, Israel, since 1977
Phoenix, United States, since 1990
Pécs, Hungary, since 1992
Bethlehem, Palestinian Authority, since 1995
Kaunas, Lithuania, since 1997
Sfax, Tunisia, since 1998
Constantine, Algeria, since 1999
Corato, Italy, since 2002
Sevan, Armenia, since 2009
Tsukuba, Japan, since 2013
Grenoble (west side) from la Bastille.
Grenoble from the Vercors ranges.
Grenoble at night from la Bastille.
Arboretum Robert Ruffier-Lanche
Bishopric of Grenoble
Couvent des Minimes de Grenoble
List of mayors of Grenoble
Saint Roch Cemetery
INSEE commune file
This article incorporates text from a publication now in the
public domain: Herbermann, Charles, ed. (1910). "Diocese of
Grenoble". Catholic Encyclopedia. 7. New York: Robert Appleton.
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Dauphiné , Félix Vernay, 1933, p88
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of which pass under the Bastille in a long tunnel:
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Grenoble et en
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See also: Bibliography of the history of Grenoble
Grenoble in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Grenoble.
Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Grenoble.
Grenoble City website (in French)
Grenoble Chamber of Commerce and Industry
Official tourism office of
Grenoble at the
Wayback Machine (archived
23 May 2008)
Prefectures of departments of France
La Rochelle (Charente-Maritime)
Le Puy-en-Velay (Haute-Loire)
Le Mans (Sarthe)
La Roche-sur-Yon (Vendée)
Belfort (Territoire de Belfort)
Cayenne (French Guiana)
Winter Olympic Games
Winter Olympic Games host cities
1928: St. Moritz
1932: Lake Placid
1940: Cancelled due to World War II
1944: Cancelled due to World War II
1948: St. Moritz
1956: Cortina d'Ampezzo
1960: Squaw Valley
1980: Lake Placid
2002: Salt Lake City
Communes of the
Les Deux Alpes
La Sure en Chartreuse
Villages du Lac de Paladru